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San Francisco: Tartine Bakery!

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Remember "Tartine Bread" book I was telling you about? Well I visited their bakery while I was in San Francisco! Thats was quite an experience as I had to queue up since it turns out to be really papular cafe in the Mission neighbourhood  :)

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It was really difficult to make the decision with all the variety of tarts and cakes and pastries....

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Eventually I went with the lemon cream tart which was really really yum! I just can't get used to to drink my latte in the bowl :O

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And hot pressed sandwich (sourdough bread with mozzarella and tapenade)  for a lunch in the Dolores park? Perfect! With marinated carrots? interesting!

IMG_2988I wish you were there ;)

Rasa xox

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San Francisco: Being there ;)

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My holidays in San Francisco is coming to an end and I am excited to tell you that I have met some interesting people that I hope to keep in touch ;)

I find it difficult to describe this city in one sentience as it is so diverse  and multi cultured in more defined ways to compare to London. Every part of it looks almost like a different country (literally). However here I picked my favourite point of view...

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As you already know, I love nature and San Francisco greenery is no exception! I have never quite experienced a Beach in the City :D

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I love how succulents and cacti just grow wild outdoors! In London I am limited to Aloe and other similar type of plants indoors.

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I discovered another cute plant! It's a Tillandsia, otherwise called air plant. It can be used to make those tiny (or large) terrariums as it needs no soil to grow in, just an occasional mist. I am so making one sometime soon!

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I have visited some pretty vintage shops, cafes and bookshops, most of them in the Mission District, my favourite area in San Francisco so far.

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Today I have tried pear and goat cheese tart! I love trying interesting flavour combinations! If you do too, try Berry Crumble Cheesecake (with goat cheese).

My ice-cream tasting went to another level! I tried basil, honey&lavender, balsamic strawberry, plum, fig&amaretto, brown sugar banana, roasted corn, peanut chip, cardamom and finally a cranberry muesli. I can't wait until I make my own! For now try my very spontaneous ice-cream ;)

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And finally, what I love most is to escape to the beach (just 30min away from the city by bus)....

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Rasa xo

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San Francisco: “Tartine Bread” book

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Guess what! I am off to San Francisco just in next hour... going alone and don't know anybody out there, hopefully I will make some new friends ;)

Just few months ago I have been given opportunity to pick any place on the world (I mean any) and with no research done I picked San Francisco! Why? Well, thats because I have this book (completely in love with it!)"Tartine Bread" by Chad Robertson and knowing it is from San Francisco I got inspired to sometime visit there, because I really really loved the pictures with lots and lots of country side and some urban lifestyle!... And much later I discovered that this is not quite true, San Francisco is actually a city! Lesson learned not to pick flights when research is not done!

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But, hey, I will make best out of this! I am actually looking forward to the adventure that awaits me! While I am there I promise  to try something that I have never done and travel like I am the local there! Will keep you posted :)

Rasa xo

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Road trip to Peak District: Abstract photo collage

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While we were visiting Cromford, a small town in Peak District, we came across little art gallery by a river cannel. I liked a lot of the paintings there, most of them reflecting Peak District scenery, however I mostly got inspired by J.Margaret Oakes's photo collage that I tried out today with my own photos that I took at Peak District. Here are the instructions if you would like to have a go ;)

Have fun!

Rasa xo

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Road trip to Peak District: Being there ;)

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So there we are, sitting on the top of the "peak" at the Peak District (otherwise called Black Rock) adoring the view we have around us. I can really say we really had the most amazing weekend! We took so many pictures and I think if we counted them all it might be close to a 500 or even 600 snap shots. So you can only imagine how difficult it was for me to narrow down and only show these besties!

 

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And guess what! While we were there we even "casually" visited Mr Darcy's home (Jane Austen "Pride and Pejudice").

 

 

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I so recommend to visit Peak District if you have not done that yet.

Have a lovely week!

Rasa :)

 

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Road trip to Peak District: Getting Ready!

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Hey, we are off to Peak District! How excited I am! I baked Sweet Potato And Pepper Tortilla, Onion And Bacon Tart & Elderflower And Poppyseed Cake (I am still obsessed with Elderflour) for our 4hour road trip. I am ready to go ;) I will share the recipes for these and pics from Peak District as soon as I come back!

Have a lovelly Weekend yourself ;)

Rasa xo

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Walk by the river Lea

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Last Sunday was quite spontaneous for me. In afternoon I popped in to my neighbour's who suggested we go for a walk. What? For a walk? I know no parks around here in London where I live! However I went along and took Sarah (my new flatmate) with me. After 20min we reached a river Lea surrounded by nature and filled with cute residential boats. Such a quick scenery change!

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I love how people living in the boats grow herbs and veg on their roofs. Such a dainty little garden!

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And the names for the boats are super amazing!

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Sarah found her own ;)

 

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And we were so lucky as Collin, who lives in one of those boats gave us a tour on living such a lifestyle.

 

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I love his artistic style, especially his desk that he made himself from upcycled scrap wood!

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And small, but practical kitchen that seems to fit everything....

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Including cookery books! Collin said he likes cooking for people and that we are invited for dinner some time soon... Thanks, Collin, for your hospitality ;-)

 

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On the way back I collected some Elderflower, maybe I will make some cordial tomorrow...

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Have you walked around your neighbourhood recently?

Rasa xo

 

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My trip to Kuršių Nerija National Park

I just came back from Lithuania where I took short trip to Kuršių Nerija National Park (my favourite place in the world) with my friends and Vickie's parents. The cool thing about Kuršių Nerija is that it is situated on Curonian Spit surrounded by Baltic Sea on one side and Curonian Lagoon on the other. I especially like nature there. Subtle seaside colours have been inspiration to me for years and it still amazes me every time! However... I will start with the village which is quite cute too xx

Because of so much water around the villages, local cousine is mainly based on fish. The most popular is smoked fish (all kinds) and my favourite is fish soup ;-b

Sandy Dunes are other cool things to visit!

So many fun activities at the beach!

My summer read is Anna Karenina! I like to read the book before watching the movie :)

Not forgetting to knit of course! Vickie's mum showed me how to knit lace. I wonder where shall I use  my new still? New summery slippers or a jumper? I will let you know once I decide!

Good things come to an end. I had to take a bus home :(
I am wishing you a wonderful Summer Holiday season! xx
Rasa xo
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My trip to Italy

I will start with the official news that I am back to London and the fact that I am experiencing mild writer's block condition (not that I consider myself a writer). So beware of this minor problem as I progress with writing my quick story. Also would like to mention that I no longer work in the cafe... who knows what the future will bring? But for now am focusing on settling in London whilst still feeling really privileged for my year experiences in Windsor.

Anyway... moving on! I had a short gap between moving to London and leaving the cafe job so I did little bit of traveling. I visited Italy, Greece and Lithuania (of course!). What I am going to talk about now however is Italy since it is what the title is suggesting. And since I am only telling short story I will only focus on FOOD. And believe me food was the biggest part of this trip! At least in my opinion...

And the most amazing thing is that we were staying at our friend's Alex house! You see, I was able to witness the real Italian cuisine. Thanks to Alex's mum as she was really wonderful hostess and cooked three course meal every time. She even showed me how to make gnocchi which is my favorite! I mean, I knew how to make these potato dumplings before, however that used to take me forever. This time I defiantly feel more confident as Alex's mum (sadly forgot her name) demonstrated a good technique how to make them quicker. I am also amazed that her recipe had some ricotta cheese which made gnocchi even more soft and tasty! Try it for yourself....

GNOCCHI WITH PEAS AND PROSCIUTTO HAM

Ingredients (feeds 4 gnocchi lovers):  300g ricotta cheese
2 egg yolks
250g potatoes (boiled, pealed and mashed)
130g flour plus some for rolling
100g hard cheese like Parmesan
1tbs butter
1 leek
200g sweet peas (can be from frozen)
250ml vegetable stock
4tbsp cream
4 slices prosciutto ham
olive oil
salt and pepper

1. First, make the dough by mixing ricotta cheese, egg yolks, potatoes, flour and Parmesan together.
2. Then, prepare the sauce. Chop the leeks and fry them with butter. Then add peas, stock and whiz it up all together with hand food processor. Let it cook for further 2-3min and after taking it of the heat add the cream and season to your taste. Set aside.
3. Make the gnocchi by rolling the pieces of dough on the floury surface and then cutting them into little pieces (see picture above). To make them textured roll each gnocchi piece against the fork ribs. Lay them in floured plate by leaving some small gaps between them as they really like to stick together.
4. Lay prosciutto ham slices onto foil and bake for around 15 min until it is slightly golden. Take it out to dry.
5. Cook gnocchi in lightly salted boiling water. But don't go away too far away as the little pieces of gnocchi soon rises up to the top and that's when you should fish them out.
6. To serve mix gnocchi with sauce, little olive oil and dish them up. On top of each plate add crispy prosciutto slice and maybe some Parmesan of course.

Buon appetitio!

Rasa xox

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"Kaziuko Muge" (Little Casimir’s Fair)

Those of you who are Lithuanian (and maybe Polish or Russian or Latvian) might know what "Kaziuko Muge" is. For those of you who is not aware I will try to describe it. Well it is a Lithuanian fair where lots of people come together on the street and sell hand made stuff like jewelery, crafts, food and many other things. Others come just to buy (like me!). The fair is traditionally held on the Sunday nearest to St. Casimir's Day, March 4, the day Saint Casimir died. I know I am writing about this now when it is almost April, but I have been lucky this year. I recently went to Lithuania for my mums birthday (11th of March) and realized that the Fair have been moved forward to 12th-13th of March. I got excited of course and grabbed a bunch of friends (including my mum) and made my way to the Laisves Aleja (Freedom Alley) where "Kaziuko Muge" takes place. You won't believe how many things I bought! First I got attracted by two wooden angels that you can see above (I have a thing for angels ;)). I also found the earnings with red stones in the middle very pretty (red is one of my favorite colors) displayed bellow....
On top of this I bought 1kg of wool tread... Call me crazy, but I do love knitting! The only thing is that I can't find time for this indulge :(. I got so many unfinished knitting projects! Once I was knitting gloves for my dad (birthday present) and I did not finish it, but I did write a card with a promise to finish.... Three years later he still  sometimes shows me the card with the promise (he uses that card as his book-marker) and the gloves are still not finished, but they are still somewhere and I still can promise that it will be completed!.... one day... :/
At the fair some elderly was selling a hand made soap and I always wanted to learn how to make my own soap, but until that happens I bought the whole lot... seven blocks :/...Well they did smell nice and looked all pretty like cakes....and I was too greedy to share it with my friend Vicki :(

And finally, I bought herbs. Most of them are wild flowers, weeds and things that grow unwanted everywhere. Well you know... nettle for instance :) I have never seen anybody sowing nettle seed, nettle just comes uninvited whether you want it or not.  But, before you get all angry with the nettle I have to say: nettle has good qualities! Like people, nettle is not perfect, but definitely wants to be friendly. Nettle tea fights coughs, tuberculosis and asthma; It also counters arthritis, rheumatism, tendonitis and other disorders of the muscles and joints; Nettle tea combats a variety of intestinal disorders; Nettle tea fights skin problems; Nettle tea fights allergies like eczema, and hay fever. And many many more things :)

Finally I would just like to say that "Kaziuko Muge" is lots of fun and is a must visit event when you are in Lithuania! And you can always negotiate prices there! Well that's the part I find most fun! :)

Rasa
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